Explorers Summit: Saying Yes to a Life of Adventure with the Virtual Bootcamp
Calling all explorers, dreamers, thinkers and adventurers! Do you long for the thrill of the outdoors? For the rush of adrenaline? For the seductive allure of the unknown? India’s only experiential and sustainable travel summit is back with its first-ever digital edition, the Explorers Summit: Virtual Bootcamp in association with Cherish Expeditions. Featuring a host of explorers and speakers from across the nation and the world, we invite you for two days of inspirational storytelling, travel showcases and workshops, right in the comfort (and safety) of your very own home!
“I was always a travel freak. All of us are. It is not just travel that intrigues all of us– it is the journey that makes us a different person. I always believed in this, it was ingrained in me.” Says founder Arnob Banerjee of the Wilderness Festival and Explorer’s Summit.
Founded in 2018, Explorers Summit is India’s first summit series on experiential, sustainable, adventure, and volunteer tourism. The first-ever edition saw inspiring leaders, travellers, artists, adventurers, and explorers from various backgrounds coming together to provide valuable insights into the lifestyle of an explorer.
“The aim was solely to create a platform for recognition and awareness about the myriad things you can do with nature and travel as an alternate lifestyle,” Says Arnob, “A conscious & responsible outlook to travel is exactly what we were looking at. This year is going to be the year of great learnings and realisations,”
Amongst a plethora of discussions, classes and workshops, this year’s Summit will feature a curated panel of masterclasses by TheVibe’s very own tribesmen, Rakesh Rao of EnSciTec Productions, wanderer and photographer of the world’s few remaining nomadic reindeer tribes, Vijesh Kumar Raju, and thrill-seeker, adventurer, and lover of the ocean, Jehan Driver, to be held on the 20th of September, 2020! We got talking with your instructors in the days leading up to this momentous event, as they elaborated on what it truly means to be an Explorer.
°The Scientific Method
Filmmaker, photographer and man of science, tribesman Rakesh Rao specialises in documenting scientific expeditions and research projects. An avid enthusiast of the scientific community, Rakesh places great importance in making scientific research more accessible to laymen. Using his tools of photography and filmmaking to document research initiatives and activities undertaken by our nation’s scientists, Rakesh’s work currently focuses on documenting climate research, and the global impacts of alterations to our planet’s climate.
“As an expedition photographer and filmmaker, what makes me happy is that you get to travel and explore some awesome places which one can hardly imagine. Places that are extreme and sometimes out-of-bounds for regular tourists,” says Rakesh, “When you’re exploring a new territory knowing that humans might have never set foot on this piece of land, and you being the first- it’s totally mind-blowing, and that, according to me, is the explorer’s life.”
This scientific curiosity has afforded Rakesh the opportunity to participate in several projects and prestigious expeditions, taking him to the three Cryospheric Polar Regions of the Antarctic, Arctic and the Himalayas, making him amongst the few documentary filmmakers to have ever done so.
Glimpse the ethereal beauty of Rakesh’s Arctic Expedition on TheVibe’s Moving Images!
“For my masterclass on Polar regions and Climate Change, I shall touch of several aspects of the Cryospheric Polar expeditions that I have been participating in over the last 10 years as a part of the Indian Scientific contingent.” Rakesh explains, “Through this presentation, I hope to change the perceptions of these scientists, who are just not stuck to their laboratories, but also end up going on these extreme expeditions, overcoming several challenges in order to get their climate data.”
When asked about this year’s edition of the Explorers Summit: Virtual Bootcamp, Rakesh responds with unbounded enthusiasm for what is to come, “It’s fantastic and overwhelming, seeing the plethora of speakers from such diverse fields and experiences, it’s an honour to be a part of this group, and moreover, to share my experience with the other explorers of the Summit,”
°Adventure on the High Seas
Outdoorsman, adventurer, traveller, and Founder of Quest Academy, tribesman Jehan Driver has been exploring India and teaching outdoor pursuits for almost 20 years. While trained as an instructor in a variety of adventure sports, Jehan finally settled for his one and true passion, kitesurfing, spending a majority of his time in Queenstown, New Zealand, also known as the Adventure Tourism Capital of the World. A true believer in sustainable practices and giving back, he has trained orphaned adults and fisherfolk to be adventure guides to provide them with a vocational livelihood.
“People who learn outdoors develop a sense of self, independence, confidence, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, motor skills, self-discipline and initiative,” Explains Jehan, “All this while discovering a sport, learning about the environment, sustainability, navigation, and lifesaving survival techniques in a safe and healthy environment with experienced professionals.”
Watch Jehan taming the wind on Episode 1 of TheVibe Originals Series, Rushes!
A one-of-its-kind initiative, the Quest Adventure Sports Academy brings patrons on awe-inspiring journeys and across authentic experiences such as kitesurfing holidays, day-sail expeditions, guided kayak/sup trips, scuba diving and other outdoor pursuits. Conducting a masterclass on Professions in Adventure, Jehan elaborates on some of the key pointers of his session.
“There are various possibilities of professions in adventure sport and travel. In this Virtual Bootcamp, we will chat about career options in aquatic adventure sport.” Jehan explains, “I will be answering some of the questions that pop up while considering a career in adventure- How do I know it is for me? Do I need to be a strong swimmer? What are the popular aquatic sports in India? Is certification important? Is it dangerous? Do I have any other options other than becoming an instructor? Is this career pathway worth it?”
Speaking on the first-ever virtual edition of the event, Jehan says, “It would have been better to be there in person but considering the current circumstances it is awesome to still be able to reach out from the comfort of my home. I have been following the summit since 2018 and stoked to be able to share my experiences with everyone.”
Photographer, explorer, and the man preserving ancient cultures through the lens of his camera, tribesman Vijesh Kumar Raju has provided us with an incomparable window into the exotic, nomadic, historically and culturally significant lives of the few remaining reindeer tribes of the world. Travelling to the most remote corners of the planet, Vijesh, accompanied by long-time friend Navak Gupta, has charted the grassy plains of Mongolia, the icy lake of Baikal, and more on his breathtaking adventures.
“Curiosity drives a man to become an explorer, and I believe that having a strong desire to learn pushes oneself to endure challenging conditions and set out to the remote places to become an explorer.” Vijesh says, “To me, most of my explorations and expeditions have been about learning. Be it going to a place or visiting a tribe, my primary goal has always been about learning.”
With numerous expeditions photographing nomadic tribes and dying cultures, Vijesh’s pièce de résistance is an effort to establish connections between the last remaining reindeer herders of the world, a project he calls The Reindeer People Photo Project. His masterclass on Discovering Cultures and Tribes at the Virtual Bootcamp will expand on his learnings and travels, visiting these little-known and oft-forgotten tribes.
“Apart from the photo presentations during the master class, I will speak about my learnings from approaching the tribes, getting them open up about their culture and personal beliefs, the ethics of photographing these cultures, and how I have used photography as a means to establish connections between two distant tribes who lived by the same ethos,” Vijesh explains. “I always thought India has produced some of the best explorers who have been underrepresented and I strongly believe that the Explorers Summit is a great platform to voice out the stories of explorations. It feels great to see the rise of the explorer community in India”
All images and media used in this article belong rightfully to their original owners.
©️ 2020 Gut and Flow Media Pvt. Ltd.